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Top 10 Love Songs in Movies

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma We’re not crying, you’re crying. Love is in the air, in the music and in these films. Join MsMojo as we countdown down our picks for the Top 10 Love Songs in Movies. For this list, we’ve picked the love songs from the big screen that gave us all the feels and made for unforgettable moments. To be eligible for this list, the song has to play at some point during the course of the film, not just during the credits and/or on the soundtrack like “Titanic”’s “My Heart Will Go On”. We’re also excluding love themes from Disney movies, as well as scenes in which a character serenades another character with a song that he or she is playing or singing. Special thanks to our user AXHP for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.MsMojo.tv
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Top 10 Love Songs in Movies


We’re not crying, you’re crying. Love is in the air, in the music and in these films. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Love Songs in Movies.

For this list, we’ve picked the love songs from the big screen that gave us all the feels and made for unforgettable moments. To be eligible for this list, the song has to play at some point during the course of the film, not just during the credits and/or on the soundtrack like “Titanic”’s “My Heart Will Go On”. We’re also excluding love themes from Disney movies, as well as scenes in which a character serenades another character with a song that he or she is playing or singing.

#10: “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
“Armageddon” (1998)


Sometimes it takes a cataclysmic event to bring two lovers together. Grace and A.J., portrayed by Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck, share one of the film’s sweetest moments as the driller operator uses an animal cracker to express his feelings for her. His actions are somehow both sexy and silly as he slides the biscuit down her abdomen. And coupled with the earnest and raw emotion of the Steven Tyler’s voice, the scene more than works. The power ballad captures the themes of the film, of wanting to see all of life’s moments with loved ones, no matter how small they may be. The love tune debuted at number one on Billboard Hot 100, and remains Aerosmith’s biggest hit to date.

#9: “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen

“Jerry Maguire” (1996)


It’s not one moment in “Jerry Maguire” that makes this song stand out, but it’s the song’s gentle and steady presence throughout the majority of the film that makes the soft rock tune so memorable. Just like Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics, Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, is a closed-off character that is afraid of love. But that changes as he falls in love with Dorothy Boyd, played by a vulnerable Renée Zellweger. The song first came out in 1995, but director Cameron Crowe knew it was perfect for the film once he heard it on one of Springsteen’s greatest hits CDs. Due to the popularity of the film and soundtrack, the tune found itself back into the top 20 of the music charts the next year.

#8: “Come What May” by Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor as Satine & Christian
“Moulin Rouge!” (2001)


The love story between Christian, a poor writer played by Ewan McGregor, and Satine, a courtesan played by Nicole Kidman, was rife with conflict from the beginning. Satine is promised to another, making them star-crossed lovers with life and death obstacles in their way. Christian writes this emotional song for Satine, which is a sacred promise to love her for eternity. In a tear-soaked duet, the couple performs it in front of a shocked audience, creating an emotionally charged scene that viewers can’t look away from. The song was deemed ineligible for an Oscar nomination since it was initially written, but not used, for Baz Luhrmann’s previous film, “Romeo + Juliet.” Nevertheless, it’s a song that’ll stick with you until your dying day.

#7: “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette
“Pretty Woman” (1990)


Heartbreak has never looked so good or sounded as sweet as it does with this romantic song and scene. Touchstone Pictures asked the duo to contribute a song to the film’s soundtrack. Despite the fact that it was originally written as a Christmas song and released as such in Roxette’s native Sweden, we’re glad they picked this one to redo and re-release. The new version became the mournful tune we hear when Vivian, played by a young Julia Roberts, leaves Edward, played by the dashing Richard Gere. Beautifully acted and shot, we’re able to feel the characters’ regrets as the heartbreaking lyrics wash over the scene. Meanwhile, the sense of longing is powerful, making viewers root even harder for the couple’s reunion.

#6: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin “Top Gun” (1986)


Tom Cruise’s Maverick met his match when he fell in love with Charlie, the flight school instructor played by Kelly McGillis. Brash and somewhat reckless, Maverick and Charlie bumped heads throughout the movie as they fell in love. But eventually, both threw away their pride as they consummated their relationship to this breathless power ballad, which is a love theme as vivid and bold as their relationship. The film made the song a number one hit on multiple charts around the world, and won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. You can always count on Berlin to take your breath away.

#5: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
“Ghost” (1990)


Perhaps one of the sexiest scenes in cinema ever, the on-screen action here would be severely lacking without the Righteous Brothers’ version of this song playing in the background. Recorded by the musical duo in 1965, “Unchained Melody” probably wasn’t playing on every radio station in 1990 when the movie came out. But thanks the perfect pairing of the pottery-making-turned-steamy-sex-session between Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s characters, this blue-eyed soul number saw its popularity increase once more. With the yearning of the lyrics and the soaring vocals, it perfectly complements the undeniable emotional and sexual connection between the two characters.

#4: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
“Dirty Dancing” (1987)


Who hasn’t tried to recreate the iconic lift from this scene? We almost didn’t get to dance to this version of the song or even to this song at all, since a Lionel Richie tune was originally meant to close the film. But lucky for us, the film’s choreographer, Kenny Ortega, chose this now iconic version for Baby and Johny to dance to. And so at this romantic drama’s end, we find the duo expressing their love through dance to the infectious vocals of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, which creates the jubilant feeling of love captured on-screen. It’s the exact opposite feeling that came with the couple’s earlier split to Swayze’s ballad, “She’s Like the Wind”, which rips them apart. We’re glad things ended this way instead.

#3: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel
“Say Anything…” (1989)


This was the moment etched into every teen girl’s memory: John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler standing underneath Diane’s window, holding his boombox above his head with this song playing. Lloyd uses the beautiful song to make the grand “I want you back” gesture - and to remind her of their first time. The scene is simple and understated, with uncertainty on Lloyd’s face as he waits for Diane’s response. You can almost feel his heart breaking as he waits in anticipation while we simultaneously watch how conflicted Diane is as she listens to the song while lying in bed. Peter Gabriel first released the song in 1986, but its use in this Cameron Crowe film took it to new heights, allowing it to become one of the ultimate declarations of love.

#2: “As Time Goes By” by Dooley Wilson as Sam
“Casablanca” (1942)


It’s one of the most famous love themes from one of the most acclaimed movies of all time. Dooley Wilson performs the song in “Casablanca” as Sam, the pianist at Rick’s Café Américain, after Ilsa, a passionate young woman played by Ingrid Bergman, requests it. Upon hearing the forbidden song, Humphrey Bogart’s Rick is stunned to find his former lover in his bar. Originally written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931, the song takes on a deeper meaning with the scene’s twist, and we’re instantly swept up into the couple’s love story. With lyrics as fundamental and true as “a kiss is just a kiss/a sigh is just a sigh,” it’s no surprise this song has stood the test of time.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová as Guy & Girl
“Once” (2007)

“All You Need Is Love” by Lynden David Hall
“Love Actually” (2003)

“Endless Love” by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
“Endless Love” (1981)

“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer
“She’s All That” (1999)

“Anyone Else but You” by Michael Cera & Ellen Page as Paulie Bleeker & Juno MacGuff
“Juno” (2007)

#1: “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
“The Bodyguard” (1992)


This romantic classic plays during the final scene in the film, during which Whitney Houston’s Rachel, a high-profile pop star, is saying her final goodbyes to Kevin Costner’s Frank, her bodyguard, only to stop the plane and give him one final kiss. Their last embrace is nothing short of epic and feels like the bittersweet, but appropriate ending for these two. The song starts off soft and gentle, but just like the couple’s love for one another, it gets deeper and stronger as it goes on. Houston’s soaring vocals helped make this one of the best-selling film soundtracks of all-time with more than 45 million records sold. “The Bodyguard” might have been Houston’s debut role, but this musical theme on love will remain the performance of a lifetime.

Do you agree with our list? Which movie love song makes you swoon? For more lovely Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo
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